Everything you need to know about getting rid of acne scars for good
Having acne is one thing. Being left with the memories of them is another. But don’t worry, this acne expert has some advice that will help treat those scars.
You finally succeed in clearing your acne, but sometimes you are left with scarring, which can often be as difficult to manage as the acne itself. So what do you do now? Will they ever go away? How do you treat it?
What are acne scars and how do they form?
Scars from acne can vary in their appearance, depending on the type of scar and the cause of the scar itself. Scars are created when an injury occurs, whether you picked at your skin, or you have large, deep inflamed cystic acne.
When it comes to scarring types, there are two major ones: pitted scars and PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) scars.
Pitted scarring is actually caused by part of the healing process of acne. In the formation of, and increase in collagen, it floods the area and can potentially cause fibres to be laid incorrectly or disorganised, causing pitted or keloid scarring. This scarring is more common when the injury is more severe. Meanwhile, the PIH scarring is the result of pigmentation in the scar, which can be more easily treated.
The most common causes of scarring are from either the inflammation of the pimple or from popping the pimple incorrectly. The proneness to scar and its severity is dependent on a few factors – age, race, and severity of the injury.
How do you prevent them from forming?
The old saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ rings true here – the best way to help with scarring is to obviously avoid it in the first place. My biggest piece of advice is to not pop your pimples.
This is honestly best left in the hands of professionals who can ensure that the full root of the pimple is drained and the skin is left clean and clear. Regular facials and a good skincare program will help to reduce your acne in the first place, which once again will prevent the issue of scarring.
Can they be eliminated?
Acne scarring can definitely be reduced and treated, and sometimes it can be fully eliminated. However, in some cases we can only reduce the appearance of scarring. It is dependent upon how intense the scarring of the skin is and how the skin reacts to treatments.
What topical creams and treatment should I be using to help treat and fade acne scars?
The best ingredients to help with pigmented scarring are Vitamin C, AHA, mild BHA, and Canandian Willowherb. All these ingredients help fade the colour, which instantly makes a difference to the appearance of the scar. The other way is to be on a tyrosinase inhibitor- this is an ingredient that slows down the over production of melanocytes that cause the pigment to come up too quickly, which in turn, helps protect the skin as much as possible. By protecting the skin and reducing the pigmentation, you instantly reduce the appearance and possibility of scarring.
If it is pitted scarring, than the two best options are fraxel laser treatments (this does have downtime, so the skin may suffer a little trauma in the road to recovery) and dermal needling. No topical products will eliminate pitted scarring.
Will natural treatments help treat and fade acne scars?
For those of you that are a fan of natural ingredients, the ingredients used for pigmented scarring are all natural, but for these ingredients to work at their best, they need to be in an active product. Scarring is very hard to treat and natural or organic products will take a lot longer than the already timely process. This isn’t saying it won’t work; it’ll just be a longer course of action.
Are there foods that can help fade acne scars?
When it comes to food there are a few options to help with the fading of scarring. It can be beneficial to add collagen supplements to your morning smoothie, or another alternative is to increase intake of foods that contain Vitamin A, which is the best collagen boosting Vitamin out there. Foods such as liver and fish oils, and leafy green vegetables and yellow veggies, are all options which contain high sources of Vitamin A.
Sheridan Bollard opened her business Shine Skin and Body in Melbourne, after battling with stubborn acne and knowing first-hand the struggles one experiences when suffering with troubled skin.